"I'm so f*cking grateful for my ex" is a sentiment that I personally #can'trelate to, but bless Ariana Grande for being the bigger person. For me, breakups end in making all of my friends tell me I'm pretty and that my ex is a toilet person. And god help me when I see my ex is dating again. From new couple pics, to no longer responding to your texts, there are many signs your ex is dating someone else, and they all can be pretty painful to discover.
Readjusting to being single is just that, a readjustment. Of course, there are some serious perks to being single, in the short and long run. For all the heartache, you gain independence and resilience. You don't need to share your snacks anymore. And you can take some much needed time to focus on you. It can take a long time to get over an ex, and there's no one way to do it. Nonetheless, seeing your ex-bae finding a new-bae can feel like a kick to the gut.
I spoke with Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent dating and couples therapist in Los Angeles, about the signs your ex is dating someone new, and how to establish some post-breakup boundaries, in order to slow down the heartache and speed up the healing.
1You hear about it.
Maybe you were dating someone in your friend group and now your ex is dating someone else in your friend group and it was impossible not to know, (hi small colleges.) Maybe they literally told you. Maybe you're a That's So Raven protégé and you saw it coming the whole time.
"There are a number of signs your ex is dating. You hear about it from one or more of your friends," Dr. Brown tells Elite Daily. "If you're following them on social media, you may find out about this on Instagram or Snapchat.I recommend that you stop following them on all social media platforms for at least 90 days. If you find yourself creeping on your ex, then that means that you haven't let go enough to move on with your life."
As the expression goes: out of sight, out of mind. Although it may seem impossible not to think about your ex, taking them off your phone may start to take them off your mind. Remember: This too shall pass.
2You don't hear anything.
If you and old bae texted everyday and called each other every night, speaking less feel like a big transition. Communication slowing down is normal post-breakup, but can also be indicative of a new bae in the picture.
"If you have had frequent contact with your ex, you may notice that they are not returning or initiating calls with the same frequency as before," Dr. Brown says. "In the extreme, they may have ghosted you altogether. Maybe they have emotionally moved on. Or it could be that they haven't, but are on the rebound and trying to move on."
A lack of texts or calls from your ex could mean they are seeing a new person, who they are trying to be respectful to. Or it could be a surefire way to push your buttons if they know you're a fan of constant and prompt communication. Whatever the reason, giving your phone a rest can be helpful in limiting the stress of a breakup.
3You're feeling, well, f*cking pissed.
Sometimes, amongst the tears and Adele's "Someone Like You" on loop, it can be hard to parse out when you're actually feeling mad.
"We typically get angry when we feel hurt, sad, and or scared. If you can hang with those emotions, it may be more painful in the short term but better for you in the long term than holding on to anger and jealousy," Dr. Brown adds. "It won't be easy, in particular if you had a strong bond with your ex."
Maybe you were cheated on. Maybe you were ghosted. Maybe you dumped them because they weren't treating you like the goddess that you are. Being able to sit with your own anger can mean you're ready to start letting go, and your ex is too — especially if they're already seeing other people.
So don't sweat it — face mask instead!
4You figure it out as you go.
Chances are, you're going to make mistakes when getting over your breakup, because you're human. Perhaps you'll leave a late-night drunken voicemail (or 10) or maybe you'll run into your ex on a date with someone new. There is no rule book when it comes to love, or love loss.
"Let go as best you can, when you are able," Dr. Brown says. "Remember that you are unique and you need to decide what is the most healthy way to connect or not connect with your ex. You very well may have to experiment to find out what works for you. Be gentle with yourself. This is not easy."
You could be the world's best internet sleuth and still mistake your ex's coworker (who's married to an underwear model) as their new boo. There may be signs that your ex is dating someone else that you could completely miss. Being kind to yourself is super important in the aftermath of a breakup. Write it on the mirror in lipstick, write it on a sticky, write it on your hand — You're strong and amazing, you deserve to be happy, and you will find love again.
Finding out that your ex is seeing someone else can be the most painful part of the post-breakup blues. You poured your love and affection into a person, and to see that end is tough. Remember: You're allowed to feel your feelings and take up space. You're allowed to cry and scream and eat gummies for breakfast. You're even allowed to get your Tinder game on, and go back on the prowl. As long as you do so on your own time, whenever you feel ready. Thank you, next!